Ryan Shazier Injury: Updates on Steelers LB's Knee and Return

Nate LoopFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2014

Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) during NFL football training camp in Latrobe, Pa. on Sunday, July 27, 2014 . (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Updates from Thursday, Aug. 14

Dale Lolley of the Observer-Reporter talked to Mike Tomlin about Ryan Shazier's status:

Updates from Monday, Aug. 11

Scott Brown of ESPN.com reported on Ryan Shazier's recovery from a knee injury:

The "boo boo" that has sidelined Pittsburgh Steelers rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier for the past week apparently won't prevent him from playing in his first exhibition game Saturday night.

Shazier said Monday afternoon that he expects to play this week when the Steelers host the Buffalo Bills in a 7:30 p.m. ET game. Shazier, the team's first-round draft pick in May, did not play in the Steelers' 20-16 loss to the New York Giants last Saturday.

"I'm trying to get back on the field as fast as possible," Shazier said. "I'm going to continue to work and do whatever I can to help this team."

Original Text

Pittsburgh Steelers fans eager to get an in-game glimpse of rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier will have to wait at least another week, as the young pass-rusher will reportedly miss the team's preseason opener against the New York Giants with an apparent knee injury.   

Steelers PR rep Burt Lauten first reported the news:

Head coach Mike Tomlin characterized the 21-year-old's knee injury as a "boo boo," per ESPN's Scott Brown, so the news of Shazier missing the game may come as quite the surprise to some observers.

Smart, athletic linebackers are crucial to defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau's complex schemes. The Steelers took Shazier No. 15 overall in the 2014 NFL draft after a stellar season with the Ohio State Buckeyes. Shazier racked up 144 tackles, including 23.5 for a loss, and seven sacks as a junior in 2013.

Lebeau has praised Shazier's ability in training camp. 

"(Shazier) has exceptional athletic ability,” he said, via Ralph N. Paulk of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I think he's going to be able to make a lot of plays for us."

Shazier can do everything right in training camp, but as a rookie, he needs reps at game speed to prove that he has the talent and acumen to carry on the Steelers' legacy of aggressive linebacker play. It remains to be seen whether or not the Steelers are holding out the rookie as a precautionary measure or if it is a sign of something more serious.